An introduction to Myst Online for newbies

Shorah! Many years have passed since Myst was released to game stores everywhere, conquering the sales charts and mystifying anyone with a CD-ROM drive. Since then, the game has pretty much been the defining jewel of the adventure/puzzle genre, releasing four more titles in the series and creating a spinoff that we here at Massively have always been interested in: Myst Online.

However, its been years since an adventure game has captivated audiences. Some of you have played Myst long ago but were stumped by the onslaught of difficult puzzles while others have never even touched the game. But, with the re-opening of Myst Online and Cyan's servers getting slammed with people, you're interested. You want to know what Myst offers, but there's so much to learn, right? Today I want to guide you through what makes Myst so beautiful, and give you some tips on how to get your foot in the door with Myst Online (sans spoilers, of course.)

First of all, understand the Myst mindset

For those of you who may not know, Myst is a game without combat. Don't expect to log in to find a fast-paced action game that rewards quick reflexes and accurate timing. That's not the Myst mindset.


is a game of exploration, understanding, and puzzle solving. It's a world where being social, meeting others, and keeping your eye open are keys to success. Even the game's UI is a puzzle in and of itself, as you don't acquire it until you explore the world and find it.

My recommendation when you play Myst: slow down. Don't feed the need to plow through the content. You're not going to get much in the way of rewards from completing puzzles. If you rush, you're going to miss what Myst has to offer. Instead, stop and smell the cavern. Look, touch, interact, and explore.

Follow the journey

Even Myst's gameplay emphasizes what I've just told you. The "point" of the game, outside of exploring the many realms available to you, is to find the seven Journey tapestries in each "Age," or area, of the game. A journey looks like a piece of cloth with a handprint on it. When you find one, touch it to mark your progress. Once you find all seven, you'll be able to unlock the final door for that level and complete it. Completion will reward you with a Bahro Wedge for your Relto -- a floating stone.

Journey tapestries are not always along the direct path through the age. Sometimes you will have to go and explore the other areas of the age to find them. Once again, take your time when you do this. Explore and observe the many ages while you try to figure out what went on in that age. Each world tells a different story.

A quick lore primer and common phrases

While many have certainly played Myst, sometimes the lore of the game goes over people's heads. Myst does not go out of its way to shove lore down your throat, as it prefers to hide pieces of the story in the worlds you explore. However, an appreciation of the general concepts of Myst will certainly help with understanding how to play the game.

Myst is the story of the D'ni culture (pronounced da-NEE) and their ability to utilize a special form of writing called "The Art." Books written in this format were more than just beautifully accurate descriptions of far off worlds -- they are literally gateways to the worlds they describe.

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